Between Heaven and Earth

Born Again, Again

Today, I’d like to return to the concept of the new birth, of being born again, in the context of our ongoing discussion about what we can know about God through religion, technology, and ideas. 

Jesus tells Nicodemus: 

 …. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

These words, spoken nearly 2000 years ago, have become a cornerstone of Christian belief and discourse. The metaphor of being born again has provoked considerable theological reflection, contemplation, and debate. But I believe that the involuntary nature of birth provides a compelling lens through which to interpret this metaphor. 

To grasp the depths of Jesus words, one must first comprehend the metaphor of rebirth. The term “being born again” suggests a transformative process, a spiritual rebirth that symbolizes the rejection of the old sinful self and the adoption of a new holy life in Christ. This transformation is not a superficial change but a profound personal revolution that permeates every aspect of a believer’s life. It’s akin to starting life anew, just as a newborn does when they are born. 

When analyzing this metaphor, it is essential to consider the involuntary aspect of birth. This, I believe, is key to understanding the metaphor. A newborn has no say in its birth. It is a process initiated and guided by forces outside of its control. By choosing the metaphor of birth to explain the process of spiritual transformation, Jesus was highlighting the role of divine grace, I believe, in the process of salvation. Just as a baby cannot contribute to its birth, so too, a person cannot achieve salvation through their own efforts. 

The act of being born again is a passive one on the part of the believer. It is God or the Holy Spirit with his grace who engenders this new birth. The metaphor’s implication extends even beyond the individual to collective religious experience. The concept of being born again reflects the transformative power of faith on a personal level, and the potential for renewal within the Christian community as well. The involuntary nature of birth suggests this transformation is not a human achievement but a divine gift. 

This understanding fosters humility, gratitude, and a deep sense of dependence on God’s grace amongst the believers and that is the corporate Church, which is in badly in need of a theology of grace, in my opinion. While the metaphor and involuntary nature of the rebirth underscores the role of divine grace in the process of salvation, it does not negate the importance of personal faith. 

The individual’s role is to accept this gift of grace which requires faith. This faith is not just intellectual assent, but also involves trusting in Jesus for salvation and committing to a life of discipleship. In this sense, being born again is both passive in receiving God’s gift of salvation and active in the sense of placing one’s trust in Jesus and choosing to follow him. 

So what does the metaphor of being born again teach us about grace? The metaphor as used by Jesus, I believe, provides a powerful illustration of grace. The concept of grace, in Christian theology, is generally understood as free and unmerited favor of God. It is God’s benevolent act of Salvation, offered to humanity irrespective of their deeds. 

The metaphor of being born again and the understanding of grace are inextricably entwined. To begin with, the very idea of birth is predicated upon a form of grace. A child does nothing to earn or merit their birth. They do not choose the circumstances, the time, or the place of their birth. It is a gift, a pure gift, a blessing given to them without any effort or merit on their part. The process of birth is entirely outside the child’s control, and it is initiated and completed by forces beyond their agency. 

The involuntary and unearned aspect of physical birth serves as a powerful illustration of the spiritual rebirth that Jesus talks about. When Jesus speaks about being born again he is referring to spiritual transformation that is initiated by God’s grace. Just as a child contributes nothing to his physical birth, so too an individual contributes nothing to merit the grace of God that leads to spiritual rebirth. The initiation of this process of rebirth is God’s action, a manifestation of Divine love and mercy towards humanity. This is the essence of grace: It is unearned, undeserved, and unmerited. 

The metaphor of being born again also teaches us about the nature of grace as transformative. Grace is not merely about God’s favor. It also involves a profound transformation of the recipient: A person who is born again experiences radical change. They begin a new life, leaving behind old ways. This transformation is not the result of human effort, but the work of God’s grace. 

The metaphor underscores the idea of grace as a gift that needs to be accepted. While grace is freely given, the act of being born again requires an individual’s acceptance. It is a passive reception on the part of the believer, who is called to accept this gift of grace through faith. It is this faith—this acceptance—that allows the grace of God to transform those who are being born again. 

In another birth story, this point I believe, is driven home further. The story of the Annunciation in Luke 1 is one of the most pivotal moments in Christian history. It is the moment when the angel Gabriel visits marry a young virgin from Nazareth and announces that she will conceive a child through the Holy Spirit. This event is a profound illustration of God’s grace and provides key insights into the nature and working and the relationship between rebirth and grace. 

First, the fact that Mary was chosen to bear the Messiah exemplifies the unmerited favor that characterizes divine grace. She was to be in reality “Hail Mary, full of grace”. She was a humble young woman, probably no more than 12 or 13 years of age, from a small town. She had no extraordinary social standing, no achievements to her name. It was not through her own efforts and merit that she was chosen (which is why Protestants do not worship her). Rather, it was purely an act of God’s grace. 

This echoes the concept of being born again, where the individual does nothing to earn or merit their spiritual rebirth. It is a gift of grace from God. The supernatural conception of Jesus underscores the divine initiative in the workings of grace. Mary did not and could not contribute to this miraculous birth in a natural way. It was the Holy Spirit that caused her to conceive. This mirrors the process of spiritual rebirth which was initiated not by human effort but by God’s Spirit. Just as the physical birth of Jesus was a divine act, the spiritual rebirth of a believer is also a divine act, underscoring that grace is rooted in God’s initiative, not our own.

Second, Mary’s acceptance of the angel’s message illustrates the human response to God’s grace. When Gabriel told her of God’s plans, Mary responded:  

And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

The gift of grace is freely given by God. It requires an open heart and willingness to accept it. Mary’s response represents the faith and acceptance necessary for God’s grace to affect transformation. 

Lastly, the birth of Jesus whom God made flesh represents the transformative power of God’s grace. The incarnation—God becoming human—is considered the ultimate act of divine grace, demonstrating God’s love and mercy towards humanity. Through Jesus, people can experience a spiritual rebirth, a transformative process made possible only by the grace of God. 

Mary, you see was a child and she was at first suspicious of this apparition and its message. The angel tells her not to be afraid, which is a message we see often in the New Testament; and tells her that she is going to be a mother of a great king. Although young, she knows enough to know how babies are made and that virgins cannot be a mother. The birth produced the Son of God and our rebirth produces sons of God as well. We are all brothers and Jesus is our brother; and nothing is impossible with God. 

Mary, you see, responded with humility and acquiescence, but it is clear that she did not fully comprehend that she had been chosen by God to have a baby that already had been named and would become a king in the line of David. It is a symbol that, like Mary, we too are innocents and are also used as tools in the hand of God. We are to be given grace without asking for it and without understanding it even.

The last verse of the Christmas carol Oh little town of Bethlehem reads as follows:

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray,
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Immanuel!

This is the essence of what the story is about. Each of us becomes a brother or sister with one another and with Jesus and with God. This is not the work of ovary and sperm. Rather, it is the act of God’s grace. It is a new divine light implanted in us by the Holy Spirit. 

It is a paradox that we are both born again and also giving birth in the sense that we are producing something new within ourselves. We are, in fact, passing on the grace. Like Mary, God chooses us—we don’t choose him. Like Mary, we are his tool; he is not our tool. Like Mary, we must allow the Holy Spirit to enter in. Like Mary, we must bear and give birth to the grace within us. It will fill us with grace and produce new life within us, making us be born into the kingdom of heaven, into the community of brotherhood. 

Here we see the community corporately being driven by a transformative infusion of the Holy Spirit that fosters brotherhood and sisterhood. It seems to bear upon our discussion and it prompted me to draw up a list of the involuntary aspects of conception, birth, and infancy and noting how they serve as a metaphor for grace and the need to become childlike to enter the kingdom of heaven: 

1. Conception: The idea of conception and the act of conception is involuntary from the perspective of the child. A child doesn’t choose to be conceived. Similarly, God’s grace is given to us without our initiation or our control. 

2. Gestation: The development of the baby in the womb is entirely involuntary. The unborn child doesn’t control the process of its growth and development. This can be likened to the transformative power of God’s grace which works in us to bring about spiritual growth and development without our control. Birth is a process that is initiated and completed without any effort from the baby. It is an act done for the baby, with the baby, but not by the baby. Likewise, spiritual rebirth is being born again is an act of God, not an act of human will or effort. Infants 

3. Dependency: Infants are wholly dependent upon the parents for survival. They cannot feed, clothe or protect themselves. This dependence can be compared to the believer’s dependence on God’s grace for spiritual life and sustenance. 

4. Growth: Physical and mental growth during infancy happens naturally. The child doesn’t consciously control this growth. Similarly, spiritual growth is a result of God’s grace, working on the believer’s life and transforming them into the likeness of Christ. 

5. Innocence: Infants possess an innocence and purity. They hold no pretense or guile, a quality that Jesus highlighted in Matthew 18:3 when he said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This innocence serves as a metaphor for the purity and humility that grace instills in believers, enabling them to enter God’s kingdom. 

We’ve wrestled before with what it means to be child-like in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. It occurs to me that rebirth is not a singular event. Evangelicals have often pointed out being born again as a singular event that occurs in your life, but it is very clear that we must be born again daily. We need grace daily and in that sense, we are always child-like:

 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

In other words, being born again is a continuous, day-by-day experience; and since it is the work of God and not our work then it can be a continuous daily experience where we’re perpetually like a child. 

7. Trust: Infants inherently trust their caregiver with all their needs. This trust mirrors the faith and trust that believers are to place in God, relying completely upon his grace. 

So how does the concept of rebirth or being born again highlight the nature of God’s grace? What does the metaphor of rebirth emphasize? How does the metaphor of rebirth emphasize God’s initiative in the process of salvation? What does this tell us about God’s character? If God initiates the process of spiritual rebirth, how does human free will come into play in this process? And how does this inform our understanding of God’s aspects for human autonomy? 

In what ways is the metaphor rebirth underscore God’s ability to bring about new beginnings and second—and third, and fourth and fifth and 100th chances. I fell today, but I’m being reborn tomorrow by God’s grace.

C-J: I wrote down those five things ahead of you about the process of birth. But I began with something a little different in that interim of fertilization in the actual birth, and that was: That birth is always difficult. It’s a process. There’s always imperfection. So many things can go wrong during that gestation period. And when a child is born that is obviously not perfect, or struggles, it’s always heart-wrenching. 

We just want what’s best. It’s been a long journey. It’s very painful for the parents, emotionally, all of that. But I agree with you about every day grace, and I likened it to recovery and addiction. You have a good day, you have a bad day. You might make it through the first really bad day and not use, but you trip before you get out of bed on the second day. And you wonder why. 

But I think it’s because in that process of falling, God is always teaching us to learn how to stand, to find our balance, to recognize why we had a misstep, what led up to that misstep, and to find balance in the opportunity to grow. So that when that comes again, we can see it coming at us. And we need to preserve that. 

So in a Christian walk that might be making sure we are in fellowship with like minded people, time in the Word, time in prayer, time in self-examination, holding ourselves to a higher standard, working on discipline and faith. Even though Faith comes by God, it’s more than just making the right choice. It’s relationship. It’s falling in love with God. The relationship I have with God—falling in love with God over and over again. And the humility—not seeing it as failure, but a gift because it makes me more receptive to that relationship.

Donald: I’ve never heard “born again” being unpacked as you’ve done today, Don, thank you very much. I think the steps you’ve outlined certainly speak to the spiritual process and I think Connie-Joe’s additional point is a good one. 

Those steps are all personal. I would like to ask, should the corporate Connie talked about fellowship with like-minded persons. Perfect. That is what church is. That is what Christian Fellowship is, in many ways, but corporate tend to wrap it up and put a bow on it and don’t seem to be involved with these. They want to be beyond this, it seems to me. 

I don’t want to shift the conversation, but I’m just trying to think of it in the context of our conversation last week.

C-J: In terms of the word corporate, I think of administrative duties. When you look at the foundation of this new belief system, they were held in small groups, in churches, on the road, running from trouble. But when they got established—when these churches grew in an established way—they got administrative. But they get too big. You can’t be all things. The church, by definition is individuals having like-mindedness. 

It’s not about paying enough money to build a church or helping those that are less fortunate, etc. But the problem is the administrative piece—who’s going to be the leader—and our eyes are taken off of God in our relationship with God and humanity.

Donald: When you put children together, there’s growth, there’s innocence, there’s trust, all those things do happen when they’re together. But as they (we) mature, they tend to become narrower and narrower.

David: The notion of like-mindedness, I think, is very important. All infants are born pretty much like-minded, single minded even. Culture begins to impact them as they grow, begins to change each individual mind in unique ways. But fundamentally, we are all like-minded. We began as like-minded, and that’s what we need to get back to, and to do that we need to be born again. We in this class are like minded. Sometimes we have Hindus, Muslims, weirdos like me, and others who participate from time to time, and I like to think it’s because we’re all like-minded at some fundamental spiritual level.

Don: Donald’s comment that that the Church wants to be the adult in the room is interesting, given the fact that Jesus says that unless you’re a child, you’re never getting into heaven.

Donald:I think there is value in having organization, I will go so far as to say that there’s there’s good value in it and people spend their entire lives doing their best to bring like-minded people together in meaningful ways, and to have organization amongst children. So I’m not being totally negative—I was just wondering should the church, would the church, could the church be lime an innocent infant, growing day by day? 

I don’t see it that way. I don’t think the church sees itself that way. Change is a challenge and can be disruptive to fellow Christians and painful if you’re a part of that process.

Don: Can a corporate church be born again?

Donald: Isn’t that what a congregational church is?

David: The adult in the in the house of God is God. It’s not the priest. It is God. Maybe that’s what the church needs to remember. Certainly in a room full of human children, you need an adult in the room to maintain order. In the house of God, where we are all children—infants—we need God in the room to show us the way, show us what to do, to look after us, to save us from ourselves.

Robin: Funny things happen, though, within the church community. I’m old enough to have experience (and am experiencing this now) that it is a very difficult process to become once again childlike, because we see this within the church organization, when the there’s a struggle, with the younger generations, who not only want to participate, but then they get to the point where they want to be the ones to make the decisions. They think that the way that they see things is more correct than the way that their parents or their elders saw or see things. 

It’s a strange position to be in, from where I’m sitting, because I can see the talents and the gifts of these younger ones. But it’s not very nice to be elbowed aside either, as if you need to be put out to pasture. I guess this is a society issue, not just a church issue.

Don:  So there is some scriptural reference to the fact that there is value in youth and mentoring youth but that sometimes we should let them have some leeway: 

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is what applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall enter to perform service in the work of the tent of meeting. But at the age of fifty years they shall retire from service in the work and not work anymore. They may, however, assist their brothers in the tent of meeting, to fulfill an obligation, but they themselves shall do no work. In this way you shall deal with the Levites in their obligations.” (Numbers 8:23-26)

C-J: I think that goes to the idea of term limits. Politically that is. Speaking for myself, there are so many things in today’s technology that I do not understand—how to get out a message, adjusting that message to different audiences, access, etc.—that I’d have to start all over again. But kids can listen to the wealth of knowledge, glean it, and apply it in a new way that it’s the normal progression of life, We have to give them tools, teach them how to use those tools. They will use those tools within their own generation and understanding. They’ll make mistakes like we did, they’ll just look differently. 

I think it’s very important that we are mentors. And we should start growing and thinking of ourselves as mentors as early as 30. We’re out of school, we’ve got some professional experience, we’ve maybe had a family that’s half grown. We have a lot to bring to the table. And part of that mentoring is holding ourselves accountable. 

I’ve had some people that I thought were like, this can’t be right. I’ve also had mentors that were phenomenal and I still look back and see the value in what they taught me. Mentorship is critical. We shouldn’t wait till they’re 50 and say, “Okay, now here you go, here’s the keys to the kingdom.” We need to start thinking of ourselves as mentors much younger, even in our generation, when people didn’t live past 65 in large numbers. That’s what Girl Scouts Boy Scouts, scouting within church bodies was all about: Preparing future leaders.

Robin: I totally agree with Numbers, but there is a difference between not being in the forefront of the fight anymore and being dismissed.

Don: Yes, there’s no call for dismissal. As a matter of fact, the call is to be a mentor. And then that involves not only your initiative, but the acceptance of your initiative by others.

Donald: I think this is a struggle for humanity, to let things go. We wanted to hold things tightly, like the politicians who don’t like term limits—they want to hang on tight, they are onto a good thing, they are in charge and know the way things should be done. 

With regard to Robin’s issue: It’s a matter of respect. Sometimes when you get pushed aside, you feel disrespected. There’s a balance there. Hold things lightly and release it and recognize that, at that point, you’re respected, not just pushed aside.

Robin: There comes a time when we’re teenagers, that we don’t understand (hopefully we do after a while) that when our parents are giving us advice, it’s for our good, and it’s not the same as wanting to control. Advising is not controlling—it’s saying: “I’ve been through this, I’ve made these wrong choices, or I know someone who has, and we don’t want to see you go through this.” But I don’t know very many teens who have succeeded in just accepting that!

Donald: Are we talking about spoiled children?

C-J: Indulgence. Kids need boundaries. They may resist it. But if you model it, if you tell your kid “You don’t speak to an adult like that” but you’re not respecting your wife or your husband, or the other children in the family, parents, grandparents, etc., they’re gonna say you don’t practice what you preach. This is why fellowship is so critical to see that same messaging of respect, played out in a very wide array of different scenarios with different people.

This is what respect looks like: You hold the door for the stranger. This is what respect looks like: You stand up for the elder person to sit down first. This is what respect looks like…. And you practice it habitually till you don’t even think about it anymore and that child will come into that not questioning it. But when you have a fourth time they’re not questioning the authority—they’re questioning the integrity. Big difference.

Anonymous: Based on what Don said in the lesson it seems that everyone is going to be saved since we have no say in the matter. But then I’m struggling with “by faith”. What’s the grace of God “by faith” (or “through faith”—I don’t recall the exact word)? It seems like a chicken-and-egg situation: God’s grace is not given on any basis other than having faith. But if I don’t have faith, I don’t think God will give me his grace. Which comes first: Faith or grace?

Don: I would say God does give his grace but some people won’t accept it.

Anonymous: But God knows if a person has no faith and will not accept his grace so why bother?

Don: Let me just say: I think it’s available.

C-J: God is gracious.

Anonymous: Okay, God is gracious and his grace is available. We have likened grace to oxygen—always there But only yesterday I was reading in the devotional that God only gives his grace to those who believe in him.

C-J: I don’t believe that at all. 

Anonymous: I can quote you chapter and verse from the Bible. I was surprised too.

C-J: Yes, but look at the Damascus experience. Paul was reminded, and says he had looked through a dark glass and thought he knew, but when he actually had the encounter, he could not resist. He knew immediately, Lord, Lord. Immediately. I think that that’s the grace. God always is ready to reveal. All we have to do is just pause. The rest is natural. To me,

Anonymous: But Paul had faith in God before he even met Jesus.

C-J: He had ritual and power. He knew what was expected of him as a Pharisee. And he enjoyed the riches of that title. But when he was removed from that, he was blind and fell to the ground and realized all those things were just window dressing. He really didn’t know God as God revealed to him on that road to Damascus. And he turned his life around and he understood it was in spirit, and in truth; led, blanketed, taught by the Holy Spirit. Very different relationship. That you’re

David: What is the faith of a newborn?

Robin: Maybe they have the greatest faith of all. They just come into the world and expect somebody is going to take care of them.

David: Isn’t that what we all should be doing, spiritually? In other words, I think we tend to think of faith as it is defined by our culture and our religions. You demonstrate that faith by going to church, etc.. But that’s just not it. It just isn’t. Faith is not religion. Faith is some kind of acceptance of a higher power and I think we all have that faith. 

So we are back to Anon’s original question of “How come everybody gets saved?” It can only be because everybody has faith whether they know it or not. Just like every infant has an unspoken faith that it will be provided for and be “saved” (Of course there are exceptions but only in humanity’s flawed, mundane idea of salvation.)

Kiran: If grace is free, if everybody can be saved, what’s the part we play? Dr. Weaver has mentioned in a previous class the prophet or high priest who was taken into the chambers of the heaven to appear before God. But first his filthy garment was exchanged for a clean new garment and during that process he became, of course, naked, and was exposed to the whole heavenly court. The key point is that he allowed this to happen. He could easily have refused to disrobe and wear the new garment, like the gate-crasher in the wedding feast parable, who ended up in outer darkness. So our part is to let God do what he wants to do. 

My infant son usually allows me to change his diaper but if he makes a fuss about it, it’s a mess! I can’t do anything about it. We are tempted to see to our own salvation but we ought not to trust our ability to do so. Rather, we should trust God’s ability to fix us in his own time and in his own way. We should be still and see what he does. The biggest temptation for me is to fiddle with it, like Abraham, who thought he could help God out by having a baby with his concubine. You can’t help really god out. We have no idea what’s wrong with us, so how can we fix us? 

My role is to be vulnerable in front of God, to resist the temptation to fix myself and let him expose me, rather than preaching to other people what they do do to be saved.

Anonymous: Don’t we have to have faith in order to let God work in us? Or is God’s work the kind of work that we don’t even have a say about—we can only either accept it or reject it? It’s not like a baby. The infant cannot reject being born cannot do anything. So what is faith here?

Reinhard: A pastor once said that grace is free, but it’s not cheap. Nicodemus was an educated man who knew the laws of Judaism. But through his example, perhaps God wants to teach us that faith is not a matter for the human intellect and being born again is not easy for the human mind to grasp and accept. God give us freedom of choice, but with that comes responsibility. Grace is free but it requites accountability, it requites a response, it requires acceptance.

Being born again, in a spiritual way, means accepting total dependence on God in the same way that a baby accepts total dependence on its parents. But it takes faith to accept grace.

Donald: I think this is an important time, a moment when we should ask ourselves whether our practice is really as it should be, and that has troubled me for some time. Church tends to equate being born again with baptism, so being born again is being tied with church. It’s very structured. But being born again, into a relationship with Christ, is a very different thing. I personally feel that it’s unfortunate that church membership and being born again are tied together as tightly as they are.

David: I think a problem is that when you’re baptized, it’s almost as though you are expected to assume some responsibility for things from then on. What responsibilities does a parent expect of a newborn infant?—None at all, It seems to me. If the churches would look at baptism in that way, baptism would be liberating. That is true grace, it seems to me. It really is free, it is there for the taking, and it lightens the burden. It’s when Jesus takes the yoke off your back. You no longer have burdens—responsibilities. You don’t have to worry about it. You are saved. That’s all there is to it.

C-J: Spiritual is different than unlearning bad choices. When I first came to the Lord there was a lot of unlearning still. The addict steps off. I have control, I guess I don’t have control. There is a responsibility. We are in the beginning, loved by the church, we are nurtured, we are sheltered, we are kept close under the arms of the church. But eventually we have to move out and go back to our jobs and deal with dysfunctional people all around us. The inequities of life. That’s a very hard thing to do.

David: But that’s a cultural responsibility. It’s not a spiritual responsibility.

C-J: No, they’re connected. They’re woven together very tightly. I’m not saying that my culture is who I am spiritually. But my spiritual life definitely influences the lens that I see my culture through.

David: But it is the culture of a baby.

C-J: But i’m not a baby, if I’m 12 years old, and I decide to get baptized.

David: Unless you are born again as a baby, you are not going to be saved.

C-J: You’re making a deadline, a destination.

David: I’m quoting scripture.

C-J: I hear you quoting scripture, but it’s metaphoric. You could say that on the Damascus Road is when Paul actually became born again. His relationship changed. And he was an old man, a relatively old man. He had served through the Roman army, so he wasn’t a boy anymore. When we meet God, in that relationship of born again, we have a new revelation, and we are held accountable. 

That’s why it’s so important to bring children up in the way of the Lord. Because unlearning those things that we find cultures accepting, that do harm—smoking, drinking, premarital sex, stealing, lying…, you can go down the list—they do great, great harm. And to unlearn that, not as a judgment of good or bad, but bearing good fruit, being a witness and a testimony of why the relationship with God is real, not just “Oh, you’re such a good boy or girl, you think you’re better than me”.

This relationship is profound. And the fruit is spiritual and actual. We do produce good fruit because of kindness and the love of God. It’s not motivated out of my personal agenda. I am compelled. I get angry at somebody and I just say, “I’m not doing this anymore”. God says “Go and love her again. Forgive that person. Love her again.” God does that; Connie doesn’t. Connie says “I’m done.”

Sharon: I would just suggest that we’re kind of control freaks. I really like the idea of involuntary birth, because it just has to take an unbelievable reliance on our great master to navigate us through the birth channel of life, to eternal life. It is such a comforting thought in times of stress that “This is involuntary. Lord Jesus, you’re going to get me through this and you are going to bring me to maturity. And meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy just accepting your grace that will cover and navigate the way of of the challenges for the week ahead.”

So thank you for that thought. It is a daily active of rebirth.

Don: Next week we may talk about Anon’s question: How do you reject grace? Or what are the signs of grace rejection?

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